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Increasing in-state talent pool depends on education

The Seattle-based Technology Alliance recently released Benchmarking Washington’s Innovation Economy.  How did Washington do compared to the rest of the country?

While our economy shows signs of vibrancy and technological growth, according to the report Washington’s education system isn’t keeping up with the demand for talent to take advantage of these opportunities.

“Washington is clearly a leader in generating new knowledge and innovative products, and early data around regional investment indicates increasing demand for a talented workforce to bring these products to market. However, for many years the state’s education pipeline has faced challenges in providing the high-quality talent needed to meet that growing demand. Investments in education have failed to fully prepare Washington’s citizens to take advantage of job opportunities in the STEM careers that drive the innovation economy. Fortunately, in the most recent education data we begin to see promising signs at the elementary level that indicate a more robust domestic talent pipeline in future years.”

With even more tech companies and talent heading to our state, the ability to prepare Washingtonians for these opportunities is growing.

What will it take? The tech alliance highlights three goals:

  • A robust public Pre-K-12 education system that prepares students to succeed in higher education and 21st century careers.
  • A higher education system that prepares significantly more students for high impact career opportunities and meets the growing workforce needs of our innovation economy employers.
  • Become the most competitive location for attracting and retaining educated workers, growing young companies, and sustaining mature companies.

Aiming toward these goals, lawmakers can expand opportunities for our students, employers, and our state.

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